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Sports Saturday

Polling Place: Which one-loss NFC team has the best chance to unseat the Buccaneers?

Respondents went in hard for the Rams, who received more votes than the Cardinals, Cowboys and Packers put together.

Chicago Bears v Los Angeles Rams
The Rams’ play against the Bears seems to have made quite the impression.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Anyone else remember a 50-yard kickoff return by the Bears’ Khalil Herbert, followed almost immediately by a 41-yard run by David Montgomery and soon after that by — oh, no — an intercepted Andy Dalton pass in the end zone?

Yep, the season-opening drive against the Rams. It was fun for a couple of minutes, anyway.

From there, it was a blur of Matthew Stafford to Van Jefferson, Stafford to Cooper Kupp, the Rams’ pass rush harassing Dalton, hope and belief in what the Bears could be slipping away, etc. The gap between the teams was comically large.

In this week’s “Polling Place,” your home for Sun-Times sports polls on Twitter, we asked which of four one-loss teams — the Cardinals, Cowboys, Packers or Rams — has the best chance to unseat the defending champion Buccaneers in the NFC. Respondents went in hard for the Rams, who received more votes than the other three teams put together.

“They’re the best all-around team in the NFC,” @JeffreyCanalia wrote.

We shall see about that. On to the polls:

Poll No. 1: Which of these one-loss teams has the best shot to unseat the Buccaneers as the champions of the NFC?

Upshot: If you look at NFC title odds on various betting sites, you’ll find all four of these teams are bunched pretty closely together. Why, then, would so many here vote for the Rams? Probably because the Bears’ opener was such a miserable night that it left an extra-large impression on fans. Plus — let’s face it — most Bears fans would rather be sacked by Aaron Donald than vote for the Packers.

Poll No. 2: According to betting sites, four quarterbacks are the leading favorites to win NFL MVP. Which would be your pick?

Upshot: “I’ll go ahead and write in Dak Prescott,” offered @zachdavis555, helping not one bit. Then again, the Cowboys’ Prescott could win the thing if he and his team keep trending upward. The same could be said of Stafford, Allen and Murray — and, it goes without saying, of the inimitable Brady. Pretty cool that this vote was so close across the board. What fun it’ll be to watch the rest of the way.

Poll No. 3: Who’s winning Monday night in Pittsburgh?

Upshot: How good have the Steelers been in their last 19 home appearances on “Monday Night Football”? Good enough to have won every flippin’ one of those games. As if the Bears didn’t already have enough challenges to confront, right? By the way, the Sun-Times’ Patrick Finley is on the record with a prediction of 15-14 in favor of the Bears. We’ll have to throw him a parade if he nails it.